Learn How to Master Your Mind

When we were small children,we were excited to learn new things. Even if we didn’t “get it” perfectly the first time, we were proud of ourselves. Somehow, along the way, we came to the conclusion that only perfect was good enough. We tend to compare our scores and achievements to everyone else.

learn new things

Wouldn’t it be ridiculous and cruel to say to a child, “Well, you missed a word on your spelling test, so just give up spelling from now on.” Or, how about, “If you can’t stand or walk the first time, we’re going to put you up for adoption.” We think that’s silly and it would be an unforgivable thing to do to a child, yet that’s how we often treat ourselves.

Learn Continuously

grandma moses artist

Grandma Moses was a folk artist born in 1860. She spent most of her life as a farmer’s wife and a mother to 10 children – 5 of whom survived. She didn’t get serious about painting until she was in her mid-70’s. Up until that time, she enjoyed embroidering colorful scenes on canvas. When her fingers became too stiff with arthritis, she switched to painting. her first picture was painted on canvas with house paint. At the age of 100, she she illustrated an edition of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore. The book was published after her death. Grandma Moses died in 1961 at the age of 101. In the last year of her life, she painted 25 pictures. In 1969, a US commemorative stamp was issued in her honor. Good thing Grandma Moses never worried about her age, and she never stopped learning!

learn to gain perspective

You may be experiencing something in life right now that you see as an an obstacle or a curse. Look deeper to see things differently. Learn to harness your emotions so that you can think and act in ways that are constructive and in alignment with your long-term goals. Learn to discover the learning opportunity in everything that happens in your life. When you shift your perspective, you’ll find opportunity and reason for growth. It will make you a stronger person.


Laugh Your Way to Better Health

Research confirms that laughing helps us release endorphin which in turn prevent illness.


Norman Cousins was an author, journalist and professor  whose life demonstrated the amazing power of laughter. In 1964 doctors found that his spine was deteriorating. They informed Cousins that his chances of survival was about 1 in 500. Cousins checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel room. He had a projector and a stack of the funnies movies of the day. He noticed that laughter stimulated chemicals in his body that allowed him hours of pain free sleep. Within weeks he was on the mend and back to work. his further research has helped many others overcome life-threatening illness theough the amazing power of laughter.

Norman Cousins experienced the healing impact of laughter in 1964 when he was diagnosed with a rare disease and given a few month to live.
Norman Cousins experienced the healing impact of laughter in 1964 when he was diagnosed with a rare disease and given a few month to live.

Lead with Humility

Never underestimate the importance of integrity, of being true to oneself.


Whenever we think of leaders, names like Patton, MacArthur, and other forceful military figures come to mind. Not to take away anything from these individuals, but I think it is a mistake to think there is only one way to lead effectively.

In the New Testament of the Bible, there is a story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. This is a perfect example of a leader practicing humility. In the process, he impacted thoughts, words, and actions of people for centuries to come.


The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
and the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
who judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass

Some people may think you a straight-shooting chum
and call you a wonderful guy
But the guy in the glass says you’re only a bum
if you can’t look him straight in the eye

He’s the fellow to please never mind all the rest
for he’s with you clear up to the end
And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend

You may fool the whole world down the pathway
of life and get pats on the back as pass
But your final reward will be heartaches and
tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Only You, Only Now

Create a master list of things you love about YOURSELF.

I remember a few years ago when I was having my passport renewed. I went to have my photograph taken. I mentioned to the the photographer that I wasn’t thrilled with the new photo. Her response was that in ten years I’ll need a new one, and at that time I would love this one! I realized she was right.


When you think about writing the list of things you love about yourself, start with the easy stuff, like, “I love my eyes.” or “I love my smile.”or “I love my eyebrows.” All of this equates to your wonderful and delicious self. Don’t be so critical, and don’t compare yourself to anyone — not even a younger you!

Inventory things about yourself that you take for granted. Consider yourself as others see you, as a relative, friend, coworker, a citizen and community member. Think about how you interact with others, with nature, and the world around you.


Keep going with your love list until you are bursting with pride in your own sweet self!

You’ll find that by filling your own reservoir, you’ll have so much more love to give others, and you won’t be nearly so concerned with what you got in return.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Look at life from every angle.

Have you ever noticed that certain days – like vacation days – stand out in our memory? Perhaps it’s because we are on the lookout for new sights, and we’re alert to everything.


Yes, there is often exquisite beauty in our vacation destinations, and we should take a bazillion photos  to relive those days for years to come.

Yet, I’ve found that there is beauty in much of our everyday surroundings. The dazzling colors of summer, in the garden with roses, sunflowers, and of course, butterflies!

Years ago, I traveled to India for a conference. I was warned in advance of the extreme poverty I would see there. I saw whole families living by the side of a road. I looked out my window, and I saw a young boy brushing his teeth in runoff water from a construction site. Mothers cradled nearly naked children outside of makeshift huts. The poverty was far from beautiful. But what remained in my mind, is the beauty of the human spirit.

I’ve witnessed the beginnings of life and it’s end. Looking at my daughter and granddaughters for the very first time and trying to capture that beauty.

Yet, years ago, I traveled to say goodbye to a beloved auntie who was dying. I watched as her children fed her ice chips, combed her hair, sang to her, prayed over her, consoled each other and their families.

As heartbreaking as it was, I was left with a feeling as if heaven touched the earth and allowed me a glimpse.

As we move through ordinary days, I hope you will look for beauty in unexpected places. Look a little deeper, and you will discover that it is everywhere.

5 Ways to Enjoy January

  1. Winter Sports – Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, tubing take your pick! Many ski resorts offer all of these options and it’s good, clean family fun.
  2. Bowling – More family fun, especially if you can find a smoke-free environment. some establishments offer nighttime specials, making it fun and affordable. and it’s good exercise!
  3. An indoor Picnic – Spread a blanket out in your living room, make sandwiches or grill hot dogs and pretend it’s summer. Better yet, turn up the heat and wear tank tops and shorts!All the pleasures of a summer picnic without the ants.
  4. Join a Book Club – In a good book club you can augment your own reading with thought provoking discussion with others.go for a book in your favorite category or opt for something completely new!
  5. Puzzles – Crossword, jigsaw, or word-search puzzles will get your mind busy and help to pass those long winter nights. Put on some soothing music and sip something warm and fragrant.


Remember to practice gratitude! Keep a journal and list 5 things to be grateful for every day. Try it for 30 days. you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!

Wealth Beyond Measure

I went to bed last night

uneasy about my finances and fearful of the future


I awoke this morning

realizing I’d been given a new day


I compared its value to those

grieving a lost loved one

or facing a terminal illness


I realized that I had my sight, and could therefore enjoy

the beauty of my surroundings

and the faces of my loved ones


I listened to the sounds around me

and I was thankful for the gift of hearing


I reflected on the gifts I often take for granted

— the aroma of fresh-roasted coffee

— of roses in my garden

— the fresh scent of rain and watermelon


I paused to really savor

the taste of an orange

and my morning cup of tea


I realized I had the gift of touch

and the opportunity for a gamut of feelings


I’m fortunate to be smaller than some things

and larger than others


Whenever I’m feeling unloved

I can choose to give myself away

to reach out to another

and offer comfort on their journey


I went to bed this evening

realizing I have wealth beyond measure!

~ Maryanne Ross